Several organisations in the Northeast especially in Assam have slammed the decision of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to approve the draft Citizenship Bill 2016.
The committee, led by BJP MP, Rajendra Agrawal, will finalise the draft on Thursday and is likely to submit the report in Parliament on January 7, a day before the conclusion of the Winter Session.
The Citizenship Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2016 to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, which will make refugees from the minority communities in Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan eligible for citizenship in India.
All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) which has been leading the protests against the Bill in the state has warned against any move (passage of the Bill) that was against the spirit of Assam Accord signed in August, 1985.
Influential NGO, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) leader Akhil Gogoi stated that if Bill was passed then as many as “1.90 crore Hindu migrants from Bangladesh will become eligible for citizenship in India.”
Meanwhile, AASU chief adviser, Samujjal Bhattacharya said the decision by JPC to approve the draft Bill was not a consensus move and therefore cannot be accepted.
The AASU leader hailed the Meghalaya Cabinet for taking a bold step in opposing the bill and take a stand for the people of the state.
“On the contrary, Assam chief minister, Sarbananda Sonowal has failed to live up to his pre-poll commitment of protecting the interests of the indigenous people.
“This Bill is detrimental to the indigenous people and dilutes the spirit of Assam Accord. It will further delay the update of the National Register of Citizens,” the AASU adviser said.
The Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) of Meghalaya has also criticised the JPC’s decision to approve the draft Bill and termed it a vote bank politics before the general election.